Wow, Charlie Boy, you are four months old! Each month of your life seems to fly by even more quickly than the last. . . before I know it, you’ll be headed off to college! You’ve grown and changed so much in these past past few months that it’s hard for me to even remember what you were like as a newborn; I look back at pictures from your first months and marvel at how little you once were. Now that you’re older, we’ve started to see lots of babies that are younger and littler than you, and it’s amazing to think that just weeks ago, you too looked and acted like those itty-bitty newborns. I frequently catch myself referring to when “you were a baby,” as though you aren’t one anymore!
Many people refer to this stage you are in as the most magical days of infanthood, and I’m beginning to understand why. The stressful days of incessant crying and constant neediness are a distant memory. Routines have become more predictable; feedings are less frequent; nights are a bit less sleepless; and tears, for the most part, have been replaced with smiles. We have so much fun talking and interacting with you. You have the most precious smile, and your giggle is incredibly contagious. You are “talking” more and more, adding new sounds and coos to your vocabulary, and you frequently make this exasperated sigh that is hilarious.
You seem to have a pretty mellow personality: you let us know when you’re not happy, but you aren’t overly fussy. Though your smiles are pretty close to the surface, you tend to be more serious than overtly cheerful, even when you’re in a good mood. Physically, you are still very active: your limbs are always moving, and you follow a pretty rigorous (and precious) stretching routine when you wake up from a nap. (Seriously. . . watching you come out of a nap is the cutest thing!)
While I love playing with you, some of my favorite moments are cuddling with you as you sleep. Your sleep schedule has become pretty regular, if not ideal. You generally take catnaps here and there throughout the day, and the wrap and the swing both tend to put you to sleep. If we’re home, you might go down for one longer morning or afternoon nap in your bassinet (never the crib. . .). We’ve discovered that your “witching hour” fussiness is best solved by putting you to bed, so around 7:00 we swaddle you up, feed you, and put you down in your bassinet. Regardless of how many naps you’ve had during the day, or how awake you seem, you fall asleep (without any tears) within minutes and will sleep soundly until around 11:00 or 12:00, when I change and feed you before going to bed myself. After midnight, your sleep becomes more erratic, with wake-ups every 1-3 hours to eat and sometimes be changed. Those middle-of-the-night wake ups are always tearful (for both of us) and I’m looking forward to the days when our sleeping schedules are a bit more aligned so that mommy can get some sleep, too!
You cry a lot less now than you did when you were younger, but you also seem to have a shorter attention span, so on days when we are home and I need to get things done around the house, we maximize what I like to call the “merry-go-round of entertainment.” We rotate from the swing to the play mat, from the glider to the Bumbo, from mommy’s arms and then back to the swing. . . it’s not uncommon for us to hit them all within an hour. You are content with each for a bit but quickly let me know that you are ready to move on. Your favorite position seems to be propped next to me on the couch; you are definitely ready to be a big boy! You sit up fairly well when you are propped up, but can’t quite sit on your own; I have a feeling that will come soon, though.
Despite coming early, and still being on the (very) small side, you are right on target with meeting all of your milestones. You are always watching everything around you, and your eyes follow us around the room. You’ve started turning to the sound of our voices and seem to recognize your name. You can grasp a toy, even though toys don’t hold too much interest for you yet, and you’ve started to swat at the hanging objects on our play mat. You are still breastfeeding on demand and are a great eater (as evidenced by those pinchable cheeks and yummy rolls on your thighs), and we are starting to watch you for signs that you are ready to begin solids. No hurry, though; if you only want mom’s milk for a while longer, that’s fine with us!
From the day you were born I’ve insisted that you look just like your dad, even though he says he doesn’t see it. You have his giant eyes, full lips, angular bone structure, and darker coloring. Last time we were at your grandma and grandpa’s house, I asked to see a picture of your dad when he was a baby and it confirmed what I’ve thought all along: you are truly his mini-me! (Thankfully you don’t have his big ears; I clearly was a positive influence to the gene pool. 🙂 )
You might look like your daddy, and you are already a Daddy’s Boy, but you love your mama too, and the feeling is absolutely mutual. This month I celebrated my first Mother’s Day, and I am so grateful to you for making me a mom! Last Mother’s Day I didn’t know if I would ever be blessed to claim the title of “mother,” and you have made that a reality for me. Being your mom is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Thank you for being so lovable, for filling my days with purpose and joy, and for blessing me with this incredible chance to watch you grow into an amazing little boy. I love you forever, Buddy Bear!
Four Month Stats:
Weight: 12.2 pounds (according to our scale at home, which isn’t super accurate; we will get more accurate measurements at your 4-month check-up later this week)
Length: 23.25 inches (also based on our home measurements)
Eye Color: Dark blue/gray with brown rings around your pupils. It’s been pretty exciting to see them change, and make guesses as to where on the color wheel they will land!
Clothes: We’re between sizes again: 0-3 month clothing is getting to be too small, but the 3-month clothes are a bit baggy.
Diapering: We are still using cloth at home: we really like the g-Pants, but have been unimpressed with Bum Genius. Now that you fit into the bigger sizes, I’d like to experiment with some other brands. We’re doing disposable diapers when we’re out: our favorite brands have been Seventh Generation and Honest Diapers; we do NOT like the Huggies natural diapers (they leak like crazy and sort of disintegrate when they get wet).
Physical Nitty-Gritty (emphasis on the gritty):
- No signs of teeth yet, but with all the drooling you’ve been doing, I’m sure they are on their way.
- You still spit up almost every time you eat. It doesn’t seem to faze you, but it’s pretty gross for the rest of us.
- Your bowels aren’t super predictable, with one notable exception: you have a blow out every Thursday morning while we are at Bible study. And I do mean EVERY Thursday (sometimes twice in one morning)!
Likes (Many of your current likes are the same as your likes at three months):
- Being swaddled: it almost always calms you down immediately, even if you manage to wriggle your hands out pretty quickly.
- Having your face rubbed, covered, and touched. Peek-a-boo is your favorite game.
- Story time. We’ve been having fun exploring all of your picture books!
- Sitting up, whether that’s on our laps or in your Bumbo.
- Staring at ceiling fans. We discovered this at a restaurant, when you became fixated on the fan above us. Now we turn on the fan in our dining room even when we don’t need it, just so you can watch it spin. I think we need to get you a mobile.
- Listening to the vacuum. This was another accidental discovery: one morning while I was cleaning, you started to get fussy but calmed right down the second I began vacuuming. We’ve tried white noise apps and gadgets, but they just aren’t the same—sometimes busting out the vacuum is the only thing that will cut it!
- Sucking on your hand. And it’s always the left one! Sometimes you’ll suck on one or two fingers, but almost never just your thumb, and more often than not it’s your entire fist.
- Lying on your side. Whether we put you down on your tummy or back, you immediately roll to your side; again, it’s always the left side. It has me wondering if you are going to be a lefty!
- Watching other people laugh. Even when you are crying, if we start to giggle, you will often calm down and start laughing right along with us. It’s pretty adorable to see you shifting between chuckles and tears, trying to make up your mind about whether you are going to laugh or cry.
- Being worn in a baby carrier, especially when I let you hang your head out so you can see the world. You get fussy when we first put you in, but eventually settle down and seem to enjoy being close. You definitely prefer being worn over being in your stroller when we go for walks.
- Standing up: you like standing up yourself (with our help, of course), and when we are holding you, you prefer us to be standing too. I don’t know how you can tell the difference, but you do!
Dislikes (Also pretty similar to your dislikes at 3 months):
- Riding in the car. Our car rides aren’t always tear-feasts like they were a month ago, but you are still more likely to cry in the car than anywhere else. Fortunately your light-up musical mirror keeps you fairly entertained, at least for a bit.
- Tummy time. Again, you don’t seem to hate it as much as you did a month ago, but you would prefer to be sitting up, being held, or even lying on your back.
- Your crib. It’s still your least favorite place to sleep. I’ve started crawling in with you when we read to get you more comfortable with the idea of being in there.
- Nursing under a cover. You just do not like to be covered up while you eat, and you do more squirming than sucking, which makes public nursing a struggle.